No reserve team football for Burnley

17 June 2012 12:36
Burnley have joined the ever increasing number of clubs to withdraw their reserve team with the decision coming not to play in the Central League for the forthcoming 2012/13 season. Reserve team coach Jason Blake

It's not the first time the club have done this in recent years. We withdrew for the 2006/07 season due to the small size of the squad, returning a year later, but on this occasion it is because manager Eddie Howe doesn't see it as the way forward.

"At the end of the day the decision has been made in view of aiding the development of our young players, for a whole host of reasons," he said. "We feel the reserves league, in its current format, just wasn't testing enough for the players.

"Young players need to be pushed to aid their development and the structure and opposition, with respect, doesn't do that. There are not really enough regular games and those we can now arrange, either at training grounds or on first-team pitches, suits us much better.

 "We can now arrange opposition and kick-off times against the Premier League and Football League reserve teams to suit our own needs, rather than having set times.

"In terms of our own players coming from the youth team, the main aim will be to get them out on loan and get them playing as often as possible at various levels.

"The likes of Jay Rodriguez, and more recently Alex MacDonald, flourished when they were playing football at a higher level and that can only be good for their development and for Burnley Football Club."

Burnley were one of only seven teams in our league last season at reserve team level, and that wasn't increased when we continued the policy of not taking part in the cup or the Lancashire Senior Cup.